Indian Coast Guard Ship Ahalyabai named after the Queen of Maheshwar, celebrated the 25th anniversary of its service to the nation on September 09, 2012.
The ship, like the great queen, has protected the vast coastline of the Indian subcontinent, in addition to its Coast Guard charter of duties, like search and rescue and pollution control.
In a fitting tribute to the ship, a special cover and a photo journal depicting the operations of Ahalyabai were released by the Chief Guest, Inspector General SP Sharma, Commander Coast Guard Region (East), at a grand ceremony at the VOC Port, Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), in the presence of the Post Master General (PMG) Kulbir Singh and other civil dignitaries.
The 44.9-meter-long Indian Coast Guard Ship was commissioned in Singapore on September 9, 1987 under the reins of the then Deputy Commandant SPS Basra.
Over the last 25 years, 19 commanding officers have been at its helm, and the ship has sailed more than 3 lakh nautical miles covering the Indian EEZ, resulting in the seizure of gold worth half a billion rupees and contraband worth 30 million. Over the last 25 years, the ship has operated from three different base ports -- Haldia, Mumbai and Thoothukudi. The PMG said that this is the first time that a special cover is being released to commemorate the Silver Jubilee anniversary of a ship.
A special postmark was introduced at Kiel, Germany by Deutsche Post, to commemorate 150 Years of Red
Cross. The World Red Cross Day is celebrated on May 8th - Birth date of Henry Dunant - a Swiss businessman and social activist, who on 1863 founded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This year, 2013 marks the 150 Years of the foundation of Red Cross. This special postmark shows the German Red Cross Auxiliary Ship - MS Flora.
MS Flora: Built in 1966, MS Flora was acquired by the German Red Cross in the year 1979. The ship was equipped for the transportation of supplies and disposal of medical aid locally using a board hospital with operating room , in which the Sisters of the Red Cross sororities were used. The hospital board
was mainly used for outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment but were also possible.
In order to bring relief without existing infrastructure on land, the ship possessed a motorized pontoon landing ( Flori starlet ), with the help of three ship cranes could be loaded. The pontoon was on the front hatch cover carried.
Thanks to friend, Mr. Wolfgang Beyer from Germany for sending me this cover to add in my collection.
The Department of Posts, Kerala Circle issued special cover to commemorate 50 Years of Indian Naval Signal School, Kochi.
The crest depicts two crossed hand flags and radio waves, to show Visual Signalling and Wireless Communication. The motto in Sanskrit reads 'Yunjan Chakshu, Shrotram Manaha' meaning 'Open your Eyes, Ears, and Mind."
The first signal school was established as a temporary establishment, at Carnac Bunder in 1919. It was converted into a permanent establishment in 1920 inside Naval Dockyard. In 1939, the school was commissioned as HMIS Talwar and was relocated to a permanent building in Colaba which is now the MT Pool. The school was shifted to Cochin in August 1946. During the years that followed the signal school was housed successfully in several temporary buildings around the present Command Parade Ground.
The role of signal school is to develop highly qualified personnel with requisite expertise in Naval Communication, Electronic Warfare, and Information Warfare by keeping abreast of changing technological environment with sound technical knowledge and professional acumen so as to optimally exploit the naval communication, electronic warfare equipment, procedures, and network enabled information structure.